In October 2016, the federal government announced a Pan-Canadian Approach to Pricing Carbon Pollution. The plan mandates the provinces to implement a carbon pricing mechanism (either cap-and-trade or a carbon tax) by 2018. The plan must meet a 30% emissions reduction target by 2030. Nova Scotia announced in November 2016, it plans to adopt a cap-and-trade system that will be unique to Nova Scotia and will be managed within the province.
What is cap-and-trade?
Cap-and-trade is a regulatory system that is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (also known as GHGs or CO2 emissions) by placing a “cap” on the amount of emissions a business may produce. Nova Scotia plans to set its cap at 100,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions. Emissions that come from the use of fossil fuels such as: gasoline, diesel, natural gas, heating oil, propane, coal, and petroleum coke will be included in the program.
It is anticipated that there will be fewer than 20 businesses required to participate in the cap-and-trade program directly in Nova Scotia but that doesn’t mean small businesses won’t be impacted.
In Ontario, the cap-and-trade program led to increases in the price of gasoline and natural gas. Increases like these can directly or indirectly impact a small business' bottom line. This might not be the impact of cap-and-trade in Nova Scotia, but it could.
What is CFIB doing about possible increased costs from cap-and-trade in Nova Scotia?
CFIB understands that small businesses in Nova Scotia cannot absorb any new increases in the cost of doing business. We’re not waiting to see what could happen with cap-and-trade. We’re taking steps now to make sure Nova Scotia CFIB members are heard. Read Jordi Morgan's opinion piece Cap and Trade for Nova Scotia Still Fuzzy.
CFIB wrote a letter to the Minister of Environment and provided a submission to the Department of Environment’s Climate Change Unit sharing a small business perspective on the environment and carbon pricing. We provided a list of recommendations to the department requesting the cost to business be assessed and reported before cap-and-trade is adopted, as well as requesting government plan ways to offset any additional cost or burden that could be incurred by small businesses as a result of a cap-and-trade system.
We will be engaging with the Department of Environment throughout 2017 to make sure CFIB members' views are represented in the development of a cap-and-trade system.
Visit the Department of Environment’s website to learn more about cap-and-trade and the system being developed in Nova Scotia.
Are you concerned about Nova Scotia's plans for a cap-and-trade system? Make your voice heard! Sign and return this Action Alert to CFIB.